Monday, September 13, 2010

Shrimp Oreganata - a short one-act play

I trip over invisible objects, slip off curbs and have been known to walk into trees. I mail my keys and deliver grocery receipts to the pharmacist. And it's not like I'm texting - I only remember I own a cell phone when the car breaks down. It's a by-product of writing. You're in someone else's world. Does it matter that their world is not real?
`
And so it came to pass that when I realized I had not written a ten-minute play in over a year - I sat down to write one. I walked into chairs as I wrote in my head. I put dish detergent in the freezer and eggplant with the pots and pans. And didn't cook. For a week.
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It's the New Year for theatricals. The new theatre season is upon us and I am in need of unproduced plays to submit. And have none. I could do a happy tarantella - all my ten-minutes, one-acts and youth plays have been produced. But I am empty when it comes to submitting to the many theatres that ask for your unproduced plays. And it's my job to submit plays.
`
I started small and melded both my lives - cook and playwright. And started a play about ravioli. I hope my intended audience likes to eat. Maybe the fact that I was writing a food-centric play Love in the Ravioli Season abated my appetite. I didn't cook. And when the play was finished, I looked at my family and realized they had existed on rotisserie chicken for a week. I took pity and made Shrimp Oreganata.

Shrimp Oreganata is a ten-minute play. You get to the crux of the matter immediately. Take your ingedients and cook. Simmer for ten-minutes and you have a theatrical ending worthy of company. It's so easy, I probably could have made this while writing. Onions sweetly cooked in olive oil and then - to surprise the palate and add drama - some crushed hot pepper flakes added. Tomatoes and shrimp cooked in wine to satisfy all the senses. Crunch, surprising toasted bread crumbs for comic relief.
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Gather your ingredients. It's a fast recipe.


SHRIMP OREGANATA INGREDIENTS - serves 4
1/4 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons extra virgin or virgin olive oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
1-1/2 cups sliced cherry or grape tomatoes or just dice the plum-shaped beauties or even the round ones
20 fresh oregano leaves or if you don't have an oregano bush 1-2 tablespoons dried oregano
1-1/2 pounds peeled, de-veined shrimp
1/2 cup white wine


In a small dry skillet, toast your breadcrumbs. 1-2 minutes.


Heat your olive oil and add your onions. Let them sweat 3-4 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes and cook 1 more minute.

Add shrimp and tomatoes and stir for 2-3 minutes to blend. Add your oregano and stir.



Add your white wine and simmer for 12-15 minutes. You don't want to toughen the shrimp so make sure the heat is on low and it's not boiling away.


Put into serving platter and top with bread crumbs. Add chives if you wish for garnish. Serve with pasta or rice. I served this with brown rice to soak up the delicate juices.
`
Now it's time to devise another play. Dreaming of an anthology of ten-minute "food" plays. What do you think of Bake, Broil and Roll for a title? Ten-minute plays won't keep my pantry stocked in truffles and the good Parmigiano-Reggiano. But they shake up the brain, keep you honest and succinct and are - dare I say it - just plain fun. Yes, even this middle-aged playwright/food blogger/laundry queen/basil-keeper/guardian-of-the-cat and-dog needs a little fun.

And a happily ever after with shrimp.

46 comments:

Mari said...

Bake, broil and Roll sounds wonderful!

The shrimp Oreganata looks gooooood!!! I love that the ingredients are easy to find here.

Have a great day :)

Foodessa said...

Claudia...nothing wrong with a little rotisserie chicken...well, maybe a week is pushing it. LOL
Now that you've concocted this great shrimp dish...I'm sure your family could see how much you're so incredibly caring and loving ;o)
Love is mostly felt through our tummies ;o)

Flavourful wishes,
Claudia

Sophie said...

MMMMMM,...what a tasty & lovely shrimp dish!! Looks pretty too!


recently, I mase your zucchini carpaccio & your zucchini fritters & they were a real treat! Those recipes rocked!

ravienomnoms said...

I could SO go for some shrimp right now! This looks awesome!

Mister Meatball said...

The breadcrumbs add another dimension, no?

Definitely a good move.

whatsfordinneracrossstatelines said...

Mmmm, I love your play! Love your magical writing, I can't imagine you hadn't written a play in that long. Your words flow so naturally I figured you wrote every day. I'm saving this play!
Thanks for your kind words!
-Gina-

Claudia said...

I write or edit ... every day. But somehow writing a new ten-minute play got lost in the youth plays. Time to rectify that with theme of food!

Magic of Spice said...

Very creative and fun post...The dish looks wonderful, what flavors :)

Barbara GF said...

I love your themes of food, Claudia. I think I would hit the road, too, if the filling in my ravioli wasn't right! I'm sure your family loved the shrimp dish.

City Share said...

I give Bake, Broil and Roll a thumbs up. When I worked in restaurants, shrimp oreganata was always a hit. I'm allergic to shellfish, so I make mine with chicken. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

Jen_from_NJ said...

This post was so fun to read and I love your shrimp recipe! Good luck with the food theme - great idea!

Pegasuslegend said...

This is exactly like my mom would make them omg the memories if these just embraced me.... love love love this so much and yours looks exactly like hers so amazing thanks for this wonderful memories of her, havent made this or even thought about this...our family really cooks alike, you must tell me what regions all your family was from.. mine was Rome, Bari, Casserta...any the same for you?

Gera @ Sweets Foods Blog said...

This shrimp Oreganata is like music for a composer and for a foodie is heaven – incredible yummy!

Have a great week!

Gera

OysterCulture said...

Wow, this dish sounds simply amazing and worth hunting for the hidden eggplant. I once had an engineer that worked for me and she was always loosing her purse. We found it once in the microwave.

I'd risk melting things for this dish!

denise @ quickies on the dinner table said...

I spend a lot of time in alternate worlds ROFL and have walked into electric cables on the street, kept boxed leftovers in kitchen cupboards, put my keys in the freezer and thrown really important mail into the trash *sigh* I. so. hear. you.

I cannot say how much I love this dish - everything I love and so quick and zipping with flavour and texture. A real winner Claudia :)

Monet said...

I also get terribly distracted when I write. My husband knows to always bring a spare pair of keys with him when I'm in the midst of working on a story! This shrimp dish looks great...and I'm glad you shared it with me as I've been craving seafood all weekend.

Casey Angelova said...

It is unfortunate that being lost in your thoughts can sometimes result in bumps and bruises, but that is the price one must pay for creativity. You shrimp dish looks amazing... Sometimes I wish I had an Italian family! Yummy!

3 hungry tummies said...

Sounds like a productive day with the one act play and this delicious dish :)

Wanda..... said...

The ten-minute Shrimp Oreganata sounds easy enough and looks perfect, Claudia. Your "Love in the Ravioli Season" sounds like a winner too.

Kristen said...

I don't know that you have to be a writer to trip over invisible items. I have been doing that for years. The shrimp sounds amazing. What a great combination of flavors!

Reeni said...

Love the idea of ten-minute plays revolving around food! And wouldn't it be neat if the entire audience was made of foodies/bloggers? Then we could all meet afterwards and eat your delicious and comforting shrimp dish!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I love shrimp and cooked with the flavors of oreganta they look divine!

I think 10 minute food themed plays are a fabulous idea, Claudia! There is certainly a trend going on where everyone is talking about food and top chefs, etc. I also like the title "Bake, Broil and Roll."

Good luck with the new batch of plays that you are cooking up! :)

myfrenchkitchen said...

A cute post...you really had me laughing! I can relate to many of those "disorders" you name here...walking into furniture, detergent in the coffee machine...but I haven't yet mailed off my keys! I love the titel of your play and it looks like fun..romance over some ravioli filling!! Oh, and then you delight your family...and us...with some delicious shrimp...well done on all aspects!
ronelle

Juliana said...

Claudia, this shrimp dish looks awesome...look so pretty, mouthwatering...yummie!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Love that you are writing plays with food themes. I don't know how you find the time to blog but this shrimp dish looks great. And I am going off to read "Love in the Ravioli Season" tonight.

5 Star Foodie said...

A terrific shrimp dish, love the fresh oregano here!

My Carolina Kitchen said...

Bake, Broil and Roll - an excellent title Claudia. I adore all shrimp dishes, no matter what their title. The fresh oregano certainly makes this one special.

Love your sense of humor with the description of your duties. Cool.
Sam

Ruth said...

Quick, crunchy and juicy!! A perfect post as always!

Rosemary said...

I'm glad to know the reason I bump into and lose things! And I'm even happier to have this shrimp dish now. Thanks.

Velva said...

I smiled reading the post. At least, when youa re slipping off a curb or mailing your keys, you have a good reason-you are writing in your head! Using your imagination. I am trying to come up with what I am doing...(laugh). i do all those things too.

btw, awesome shrimp dish! I am sure your family loved it!

Chow and Chatter said...

this looks tasty and no worries you will write a fab play for sure

alwayswinner786 said...

That's really a wonderful recipe- Shrimp Oreganata!Thanks for sharing this delicious ten-minute play!

Spicie Foodie said...

Oh I am totally loving your recipe. I love shrimp and tomato together, just perfect.

Angie's Recipes said...

The shrimp looks so succulent and I love the gravy, which would be wonderful to serve with pasta too.
As long as it's a by-product of writing, then don't worry...I first thought it's "age". (Sorry, I was just being cheeky. :-! )

Have a wonderful day!

Mary said...

Your shrimp sound wonderful and they are certainly gorgeous to looks at. It is a wonderful recipe. I love your sense of humor. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

Katy ~ said...

Rotisserie chicken for a week sounds like something I'd do :)

Good luck on your play...a 10-minute play. Wow. To tell a hole story in that amount of time, that's cool.

Loving this shrimp recipe. It looks GREAT!

Kim said...

Claudia- You are such a joy to read! I happen to love both ideas for your ten minute plays and wish that I could be there to watch them unfold. Better yet, I'd love a bite of that shrimp oreganta. Saucy, spicy, sweet shrimp with crunch breadcrumbs. Delicious:)

Chef Dennis said...

I have existed on rotisserie chicken and kraft mac and cheese a few times in my life....I'm sure they didn't mind, since you got your work done! This shrimp dish looks so very very good! what a treat it must have been for your family!

joe@italyville said...

if the play turns out like the dish... you are all set!

Lori Lynn said...

Bravo! Bravo!
Nice lookin' shrimp dish too!
LL

Proud Italian Cook said...

I love the title Claudia, Bake, Broil and Roll, perfect! and I wish that platter of shrimp was right in front of me. You're such a gifted writer girlfriend!

theUngourmet said...

I do all of this crazy stuff too and I can't even blame it on playwriting! ;D

Your shrimp dish looks divine!

What a fun post!

The Blonde Duck said...

This makes me really wish I could eat shrimp.

Jeannie said...

Yummy! I love shrimps to bits i could eat the whole plate all by myself!

Marisa said...

Claudia, I just learned through this post that you are a playwright. How exciting and fantastic! I love that you wrote a play inspired by raviolis, too! This shrimp recipe is great--quick and delicious!

fromBAtoParis said...

It's Saturday 7.30am...I'm alone in front of my computer..husband sleeps, kids getting ready to go to school (Oh...the French system)Just my coffee and me AND your cake !!!! Is there Fed EX of cakes?? Please!!!!